Touch-Up Bag Essentials

There’s been an accident. I am embarrassed to admit it, but my makeup bag—the one that I carry in my purse—had a black eye pencil explosion. The cap fell off and I still have not cleaned it all up. Not to mention I haven’t recently edited out what I am no longer using.

So as a favor to myself, I thought I would clean up my bag, and share with you what I think are the touch-up bag essentials!

The strategy: I look at my touch-up bag as just that. I already carry too much stuff in my purse—so much so, that my husband refuses to even look in it. The makeup bag in your purse is not a full makeup kit, but it should have a few key essentials for touch-ups, and in a beauty emergency, you can still create a quick face.


I really love Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda. The compact contains two shades of concealer that can be blended to create the perfect shade, an olive-toned redness corrector, and a translucent powder to set everything. You can fix anything with it. Leave the foundation at home.

Mini Mascara
DiorShow makes one, and the small size is better, since it should be replaced often. DiorShow is still one of my favorite mascaras of all time!


Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge is a multi-tasking dream. Use the creamy formulation on the cheeks for a just-pinched look. Blot it on the lips for a soft, stained daytime finish. A little blush and lip stain go a long way to make you look finished with minimal effort—a perfect everyday look.

Black or Brown Eye Pencil

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense can be used as liner or smudged as a shadow. Or even line inside the lid for a day-to-night transition.

Clear Brow Gel

Anastasia Beverly Hills makes a great clear brow gel to tame unruly brows. It’s amazing how much more finished a face looks when the brows are groomed. I think this product is the fairy godmother of makeup. Bibbity bobbity boo!

Red Lipstick
With all the color going on in fashion for spring and summer, you really need a little color on the lips. My two current obsessions are colors from Sephora’s Rouge Cream collection. They’re a bargain at $12! I particularly love Valentine 09, which is a rich magenta, and It Girl 06—a muted coral tangerine. Go on, splurge on some color!

I promise that with these six items you can not only touch up your look, but create a full face or easily go from work to dinner quickly. Extra bonus: Think of how much lighter your purse will be…